Friday, October 31, 2008

Familiy Pictures

Here are the pictures we had done earlier this week. Or, some of them at least. They took 164 pictures!!! Some were easy to discard, but others were a little harder. Here's what we ended up with (plus a Christmas one that you'll get to see later!)









New Blog

As I was praying this morning, I felt the Lord lead me to do something a little different. I felt Him lead me to be challenged on a new level. I long and crave to go deeper, but often when I do embark on a journey to go deeper, I tend to keep it to myself. If I succeed, the world will see. If I fail, they will not. I'm being convicted that it isn't supposed to work that way. We're supposed to encourage and build up one another, and it's not really easy to do that if we don't show each other the processes by which we grow.

So, I'm going to start a new blog. It's going to be very simple. Not long or detailed thoughts like you see on the thoughts blog. I am simply going to post a challenge and a Scripture to support it. I might not post every day because some days God will be challenging me to keep going with what He's already placed before me. But, I invite you to join me. Let's be challenged together. Let's work together to grow deeper in the Lord. I invite you to share your comments with me. Some of you have succeeded in some of the challenges I will share - please share your journey with me that I may be encouraged! Some of you will be walking along in the challenges even as I do. Others of you may be frustrated by the challenges. Please share that, too. I would love for you to interact with me as we seek to grow together. May we all go deeper into who God created us to be!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In a Hotel

Ah, so much fun to be in a hotel room. We're very blessed to have two rooms - I really, really am thankful for the concept of the Residence Inn! It's very helpful right now as I have one very sleepy Steven napping in one room while somewhat restless girls get into mischief in the other room. Doug is at the convention (Arkansas Baptist State Convention, by the way, held in Bentonville)- enjoying himself evidently. Every now and then he sends me a text message with the topic of the time. The rest of us will be joining him tomorrow, but we didn't feel that this afternoon would be a good situation for the whole family. Olivia would have to be in there with me the whole time since there is no provision for homeschooled school-age children (yet!), and Steven would have missed his very crucial naptime. Tomorrow morning, though, Angela and Steven will go to the provided childcare, and Olivia and I will join Doug. I have a stash of surprises to take with me that will hopefully keep Olivia occupied through the morning!

We pulled into the Fayetteville area yesterday afternoon. We checked into the hotel, made a quick trip to Sam's (taking advantage of being in an area local to Sam's - avoiding that extra trip this month!), took a driving tour of the UofA campus, and then came back to the hotel. My sister Allison came over a little before 7:00 to watch the kids while Doug and I went out for the evening. Isn't she sweet? She'd offered before we even had a chance to ask! Such a good li'l sis! We enjoyed a leisurely dinner at PF Changs (pretty much the one "us" place where our kids have never been!).

This morning we got up for an early appointment for family pictures (again making use of being local - this time to a Portrait Innovations location, our favorite picture people!) before Doug headed to his convention activities. We could have waited about 20 minutes and gotten the pictures then - and I could have already been uploading them for you. But, we needed to get Doug to the convention. So, we'll be picking them up this afternoon or tomorrow morning. Check back in the next couple of days and I should have them posted on here.

This evening we'll be welcoming Alli back over for another visit over dinner. Thanks to the set up of the Residence Inn, we can cook here. Such a blessing to not have to eat out this whole trip, as that does get both expensive and old! So, we'll be making a pot of soup and some cornbread - yum!

Tomorrow morning we'll head homeward after the convention ends. So, that's the first few days of the week for the Hibbards!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ready for Church

I finally got Steven to NOT wear his bear tie to church yesterday...and got him into this cute suit. Is this not adorable! I know I'm biased, but I thought he looked so very handsome.
Is he not a ham?
This one was blurry and I was sad - he looked so cute. But I put it on here anyway. He wanted to wear Daddy's glasses. So silly!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Skype

Any Skype friends out there? Thanks to a new chat group I'm involved in, Doug and I have been introduced to Skype. We'd been looking for a VOIP solution that would allow us to have a local number and spend less on our phone bill, so we were quite excited about Skype!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that Doug and I each have our own Skype accounts now, and you should be able to search for either or both of us if you're interested in chatting or Skype to Skype "phone" calls.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Big Helpers

The kids were so very helpful this morning! As Doug was fixing pancakes, the kids decided to be involved! So, he tried to teach the girls how to tell when the pancakes needed to be flipped and how to flip them. Steven was in an "I need Daddy" mood, so when Doug's arm gave out and he just couldn't hold the boy any longer, we managed to get him to sit in a nearby chair by promising him some bacon!



In an attempt to distract Steven from being under Doug's feet, I asked if he wanted to help me transfer clothes to the dryer and reload the washer, something he usually greatly enjoys. By the time we got to the washer, he wanted to do it all by himself! Such a helpful boy!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Three Gymnasts

I was folding laundry in my room yesterday, and the kids just wanted to be with me I guess. They all three brought blankets into the bedroom and decided to do gymnastics! At one point, the girls decided to do ballet instead. My faithful little boy, when asked if he was doing ballet, replied quite emphatically, "I don't do ballet!" It was great!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Christmas present #1

Sometime last week Olivia and I finished Angela's Christmas present from Olivia. It's a Razorback towel wrap made from a big towel, a hand towel, and some felt. We were pretty excited with how it turned out, especially since we were being creative! We had a general pattern for such things, but none of them were Razorbacks, and that's what Olivia REALLY wanted to make for Angela. I was hoping the ears would stick up a little more, but I think it's going to be fine. Olivia was happy with the outcome and I think Angie will be, too, so that's what matters! Here's Olivia modeling it before we put it away with the Christmas stuff.

Monday, October 20, 2008

OBU Homecoming

It's nice to live close enough to Arkadelphia to get to make a day trip! This past weekend was Homecoming, and it was also the 10th reunion for the class of '98 (Ann). We didn't see a whole lot of our friends from our college days, but we did see a few. We also got to see some faculty and staff who we had good relationships with while there. It was really a lot of fun. Here is some "visual" from our day!
The girls with the Tiger

The girls with the female mascot - something we didn't have when Doug and I were there!


Doug and Olivia watching the band. Olivia has grown very interested in music and has added musician to her "What I want to be when I grow up" list. She was quite enamored with the band and all of the instruments. I'm so glad they warmed up where we were!

Loving on the Tiger again. Steven didn't want to have anything to do with the Tigers while they were out and about. But, as soon as they went over to the field for the game (which we didn't attend), he started begging for the Tiger!! We kept telling him that he had his chance, but that's hard for a two-year-old to understand. Poor Steven!

The girls loved the inflatables!



This was Steven's way of enjoying the outdoor activities - in Mommy or Daddy's arms guzzling water!

Olivia showing team spirit with her paw tattoo.

Shots in the student center...



Steven continued begging for the Tiger, so while we were in the student center we found a poster with both Tigers on it. Although it wasn't totally satisfactory, it did at least put a smile on his face and mostly appeased him!


Steven met a friend! This is the son of a couple of classmates - they skipped the football game like we did, and we ran into each other on the main part of campus where we were roaming a bit more before getting in the van to return home. There were about four families in all with seven kids among us. No one else was on that part of campus, so it was nice and peaceful. We enjoyed catching up - and Steven was so patiently tolerating being investigated by his fellow future Tiger!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Have I mentioned I LOVE fall?

The cool weather is back today! When we first woke up it was still muggy and warm, but within an hour and a half the mugginess had dissipated and the temperature had dropped five degrees! At this point - not quite noon - the temperature has dropped another five degrees! Woo-hoo! We opened the windows once again to let in the cool, crisp air. It's a blessing to have a house structured such that the windows are protected from the rain. We can have all of the windows in the house open even on rainy days to allow that sweet breeze to come in!

Steven's potty-training seems to be pretty much complete! We've even stopped putting diapers on him at naptime! YAY! He still has to be taken to the bathroom because he can't pull his pants up and down by himself, but I don't really ever have to ask him. Such a blessing! I know it wouldn't have happened without prayers, so thank you!

We are about to start our ninth week of school, and it is going well. Angie's reading has really taken off. We're focusing greatly on phonics blends, and as long as she has the appropriate phonics rule learned, she can read anything! So, there are, of course, still areas to work on, but she's doing very well. Olivia is doing well, too. We seem to have gotten her math lessons under control, and now we are working to do the same with language arts.

I saw something very sweet the other day. Any of you who pray regularly for someone else know that there is a bond that develops between you and that person because of prayer. My girls are learning that, and Olivia showed it clearly in one of her school assignments! We've been praying for some MK's mentioned in my mom's monthly prayer letters. Olivia had to choose someone she would love to get to know and write about that person. She chose one of those MK's! We'd been praying so much and so personally for her that Olivia has developed a love for her that she never would have had otherwise. What a sweet testimony!

And now it's time for lunch...thank you all for your love and prayers!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Steven & Wesley

We've had a lot of issues lately with Steven not treating the kittens well. I am amazed that they are so patient with him! They've scratched him a few times, and occasionally they'll run from him when they're not in the mood, but they'll still let him love on them. They're going to be so good with kids in their new homes. Anyway, here are some shots of Steven in one of his sweet moments with the kittens!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Continents and Oceans

Oh how they learn! One of the things we have this year is a cd of geography songs. It is full of little songs created to help children learn countries by region - or to learn different aspects of specific countries. So far we've learned the Continents and Oceans, Western Europe, the Middle East, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, the former USSR, South Asia, and Southern Europe. To be honest, they are annoying little songs that can get stuck in your head, but I think maybe that's the point! :-) We haven't focused a whole lot on getting the countries onto the map other than to initially identify them, but each week our new song goes along with either our missions study for the day or with our history! So, the girls are excited because they are learning more than just the names of the countries - they're learning about the countries they're singing about. And, when one of those countries is mentioned elsewhere, they definitely remember it!

Anyway, another great thing is that Steven's learning the songs, too! He has no idea what he's singing about at this point, but my two-year-old can say "Tajikistan," among other things! I haven't gotten a good video of him joining with the girls on any of the country songs, but this is the three of them singing the song about continents and oceans. You may or may not be able to pick out his voice, but know that, for the most part, he's singing right along with his big sisters!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Prayer Request

Saturday evening saw another faithful saint make her journey home. I actually have never met her, but I know some people who loved her, including her husband. Josh Hildebrand is an old college friend currently serving as pastor of a Kentucky church. I'm not sure of all of the details, but I do know that over the past couple of months his wife Christy had been dealing with some health issues such as a rare strain of pneumonia and some strange symptoms in one leg (she had apparently been suffering from severe arthritis in her knees, and was supposed to have double knee replacement soon). From what I understand, though, none of her health problems appeared to be life-threatening.

Please join me in praying for Josh and their extended family as the Lord brings them to your mind. There are some of you who have experienced such a grief, and you can comprehend the grief he's dealing with. I cannot even begin to imagine, and I know that all I can do is pray for him, his family, and her family right now.

Thank you, prayer warriors!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bible Verses

Olivia and Angela memorized Psalm 24:1-6 over the first six weeks of school. We needed to have them share it publicly, but we just didn't get the details worked out for them to do it at church. So, I recorded them to share with all of you! They actually said the verses almost two weeks ago (we're in week eight now!), but better late than never, right?! :-) (Okay, so I don't like that cliche either, but I couldn't help it!) Here they are...




And, just so Steven doesn't feel left out (yeah - right - just because I thought it was cute!) I had to stick this picture in, too. Steven was playing in the living room when he saw that the clothes basket was empty. He climbed in it, started rolling it back and forth, and said, "Take a picture of me, Mommy!" Now how can a mommy resist that?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Silliness Catonified

Wilhemina and Wesley and their favorite past-time - wrestling with one another!


Princess Buttercup snuggles.

Buttercup and 'Mina found a new place to play today - yes, they got in the stroller themselves.


We are seeing progress with litterbox training. YAY! So far Vizzini is the only other kitten to join Wesley in eating kitty food. Thanks for praying, and keep it up! And please don't forget to pray for those new homes. The kittens will be six weeks old on Wednesday, and they will be ready to leave within the next few weeks. I'd keep every last one of them if I could, but eight cats would be a little much!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fall and Us

I have a tub of Thanksgiving and fall things that I typically don't get around to putting out until shortly before Thanksgiving. This year I thought it might be nice to celebrate the arrival of fall by going ahead and bringing out our decor. So, the girls and I unpacked the tub, packed away a few of our year-round knick-knacks, and scattered fall decor around the living and dining area. It's nice!



Steven has done phenomenally well with his potty-training. We were on the road all day Saturday, and he stayed dry all day! He let us know when he needed to go, overcame his fears by going in the scary Sam's bathroom (I was phenomenally proud!), and decided that ALL aspects of going in the potty were OK!! He also did well in church yesterday, and insisted upon wearing only his "peet stop" underwear to church last night instead of wearing a diaper. Such a big boy!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kittens

Here are a few cute shots of the kittens.

Prince Wesley in his castle.

The kittens were posing for us (the white one - Wilhelmina - was UNDER the pile!)

Friday, October 3, 2008

School this Week

Here are tidbits from our school this week.

Musical Math...

Learning number words...

Reading about birds...